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Superlative   /sʊpˈərlətɪv/   Listen
Superlative

adjective
1.
Highest in quality.  Synonyms: greatest, sterling.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Superlative" Quotes from Famous Books



... remembered that the great Spaniard began his apprenticeship to art by copying still-life, which he did in a superlative manner; his Bodegones, or kitchen pieces, testify to this. Chardin, who led as laborious an existence as Degas, shutting himself away from the world, studied surfaces with an intensity that Zola, the apostle of realism, would have misunderstood. Later the ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... no love like His—so pure and constant and satisfying. What the sun is to a star-light, and the ocean to a pool left by the retiring tide, such is the love of Jesus compared with all other love. To have it is superlative blessedness; to miss it is to ...
— Love to the Uttermost - Expositions of John XIII.-XXI. • F. B. Meyer

... fine irony of her present renovation that those who were for ever belauding her pictures, and her saints, and her architecture, as we praise things dead, they are the most angered by her appearance on this modern field all armed, just as she was, with works and art and songs, sometimes superlative, often vulgar. Note you, she is still careless of art or songs, as she has always been. She lays her foundations in something other, which something other our moderns hate. Yet out of that something other came the art and song of the Middle Ages. And what art or songs have you? ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... an inventor of the highest order, the Dance of Death also discloses an interpreter in wood of signal, and even superlative, ability. The designs are cut—to use the word which implies the employment of the knife as opposed to that of the graver—in a manner which has never yet been excelled. In this matter there could be no better judge than Mr. W. J. Linton; and he says that nothing, either by knife or by graver, ...
— The Dance of Death • Hans Holbein

... of love—how eloquent their song! All things in nature speak to me; they bless you for loving me! In the halo of that blessing, as I think of you, I am transfigured by a newly-born ecstacy! To breathe, to exist, is to realize the superlative degree of my exquisite happiness! Hidden away from the clouds and storms of life, by the golden mist which veils the measureless sea of love, infinite love, I sail serene and confident upon its heaving tide. Gently rocked by the lapping lullaby of the rythmical waves of paradise, ...
— Solaris Farm - A Story of the Twentieth Century • Milan C. Edson

... he will be a failure if he has not learned the great secret of dogged persistence in often unwelcomed toil. No character worth building up is built without continuous effort. If a man does not labour to be good, he will surely become bad. It is an old axiom that no man attains superlative wickedness all at once, and most certainly no man leaps to the height of the goodness possible to his nature by one spring. He has laboriously, and step by step, to climb the hill. Progress in moral character is secured by long-continued walking upwards, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... by a salesgirl of such superlative dress and manner that her long jet earrings were like exclamations at the audacity of her personality. An habitual counter line-up of Broadway mental brevities in the form of young men with bamboo sticks and eyes with perpetual ogles in them, would while away the syncopated hours with her, occasionally ...
— Star-Dust • Fannie Hurst

... surprise to the first explorers of America that the natives used the bow and arrow so effectively. In fact, the sword and the horse, combined with the white man's superlative self-assurance, won the contest over the aborigines more than the primitive blunderbuss of the times. The bow and arrow was still more deadly than ...
— Hunting with the Bow and Arrow • Saxton Pope

... happened at a period so remote, that at present it was uncertain whether those twice banished, were thrust into their second exile by reason of their superlative knavery, or because of their comparative honesty. If the latter, then must the residue have been a precious ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. I (of 2) • Herman Melville

... daguerreotypes, from bric-a-brac to hosiery. The relics and treasures of past generations of the owner's family carpeted the house, until each room seemed in a worse state than the last, and the whole was altogether a most superlative mess. M. Guyot had shoveled paths through the different rooms as one shovels through several inches of ...
— The Note-Book of an Attache - Seven Months in the War Zone • Eric Fisher Wood

... Donatello has carved some three dozen children, we have a series of instantaneous photographs. Nobody else had enough knowledge or courage to make rigid bars of children's legs: here they swing on pivots from the hip-joint. It is the true picture of life, rendered with superlative skill and bravura. But Donatello's children serve a purpose, if only that of decoration. At Padua they form a little orchestra to accompany the duets. The singing angels there are among the most charming of the company; and whether intentionally or not, they ...
— Donatello • David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford

... degree of adjectives is formed by adding er, the superlative by adding est, to the positive; as, fair, fairer, fairest; lovely, lovelier, loveliest; sweet, sweeter, sweetest; low, ...
— A Grammar of the English Tongue • Samuel Johnson

... to R. N. Williams is a steady baseliner of second class. Williams is apt to crush a top-flight player in a burst of superlative terms, yet fall a victim to the erratic streak that is in him when some second-class player plays patball with him. Such defeats were his portion at the hands of Ritchie and Mavrogordato in England, yet on the same trip he scored notable victories ...
— The Art of Lawn Tennis • William T. Tilden, 2D

... were an hallucination; something not objective; something real, but within the soul of him who looked upon it. It claimed sudden kinship with those blackest days when nevertheless the sun, the mere external unimportant sun, shines with superlative brilliancy. Emotions of a power to shake the foundations of life seemed vaguely to stir in answer to these their hollow symbols. For after all, we were contented at heart and tranquil in mind, and this was but the outer gorgeous show of an intense emotional ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... caught, had it not been for some "untoward" occurrence, specifying the exact weight of the missing fish to an ounce—as fishermen generally do. On the fourth afternoon after his arrival, a letter was put into his hands, (just as the cloth was drawn, and the party were going to discuss the superlative merits of some genuine poteen,) which the servant said had been brought by a man, who waited in the hall. It was from Colonel ——, and briefly stated that peremptory orders had just been received ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. XX. No. 557., Saturday, July 14, 1832 • Various

... worship for his wife. His was a love such as rarely falls to the lot of woman. And his devotion to his girl and boy twins was something quite beyond words. These things were the mainspring of his life, and drove him to such superlative degrees of self-sacrifice that could surely only have been endured by a man of his ...
— The Twins of Suffering Creek • Ridgwell Cullum

... Wherein lies the superlative picturesque appeal of the typical ledge stonework of Germantown? As distinguished from surfaced stonework, it possesses that flexibility in use so essential to the many and varied requirements of domestic architecture imposed by the personality ...
— The Colonial Architecture of Philadelphia • Frank Cousins

... I ought not to forget, because it is the chief: My duty to God will, I hope, always employ some good portion of my time, with thanks for his superlative goodness to me; and to pray for you and myself: for you, sir, for a blessing on you, for your great goodness to such an unworthy creature: for myself, that I may be enabled to discharge my duty to you, and be found grateful for all the blessings I shall receive at the hands of Providence, by means ...
— Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded • Samuel Richardson

... oratory was received with a very decided "ho!" of assent, as it well might be, for during nearly all the year there was nobody in that uninhabited land to attempt any of those violent proceedings. Dilating his eyes and nostrils with a look of superlative ...
— The Walrus Hunters - A Romance of the Realms of Ice • R.M. Ballantyne

... out of his own troubles by an acquaintance with the heroic sorrows of the world. There is no page of history, however dark, there is no beautiful old tale, however tragic, which does not impart some strength and some distinction to the awakening mind. It is possible to overrate the superlative merits of insipidity as a mental and moral force in the ...
— Americans and Others • Agnes Repplier

... Its summer breezes fill the lungs with wine. Its autumns are incomparable, a golden glow in which valley and hill bask lazily. Its winters are warm with sunshine and cold with the crisp crackle of frost. Its springs—they might be worse. Any Coloradoan will admit the climate is superlative. But there is one slight rift in the lute, hardly to be mentioned as a discord in the universal harmony. Sudden weather changes do occur. A shining summer sun vanishes and in a twinkling of an eye the wind is ...
— The Fighting Edge • William MacLeod Raine

... myself as to the best place to land him. When considerately asked by my client whether he had any choice in the matter, he replied, somewhat facetiously, that he could not think of making a suggestion to one who had shown such superlative skill ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... clusters, on what is barefacedly called a bed, but which is nothing more nor less than a beggarman's shakedown, where the smell, the heat, the filth, and above all, the vermin, are intolerable to the very farthest stretch of the superlative degree. As soon as their eyes begin to close here, they are roused by the bell-man, and summoned at the hour of twelve—first washing themselves as aforesaid, in the lake, and then adjourning to the prison ...
— The Station; The Party Fight And Funeral; The Lough Derg Pilgrim • William Carleton

... a offered reward of ten pound, which was afterwards increased to twenty pound. Notwithstanding the most superlative, and, I may say, supernat'ral exertions on the part of this parish,' said Bumble, 'we have never been able to discover who is his father, or what was his mother's settlement, name, ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... and has been. Look I must do something to make my blood circulate, or I shall furnish a case for the coroner one of these mornings. I want excitement. I have taken up one thing after another, and gone just far enough to understand that there's no hope of reaching what I aimed at—superlative excellence; then the thing began to nauseate me. I'm like poor Jackson, the novelist, who groaned to me once that for fifteen years the reviewers had been describing his books as 'above the average.' In whatever I have undertaken ...
— Denzil Quarrier • George Gissing

... cheers, in the thought of passing thither. But if we do not know anything more—and we know very little more—let us be sure of this, that when God begins to compare His adjectives He does not stop till He gets to the superlative degree and that good begets better, and the better of earth ensures the best of Heaven. And so out of our poor little experience here, we may gather grounds of confidence that will carry our thoughts ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... walking about with his fellow creatures in broad daylight and enjoying himself, he gets down to the bottom of the well of his fancies, in the hope of now and then catching a glimpse of a star. Everything must be in the superlative for him: everything must be pure, and majestic, and etherial, and celestial: his heart must be always throbbing and heaving, even when he is standing before a puppet show. He never laughs or cries, but can only smile and weep; and forsooth there ...
— The Old Man of the Mountain, The Lovecharm and Pietro of Abano - Tales from the German of Tieck • Ludwig Tieck

... purpose, as in olden times in the old country, 'FOR THE REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES;' and so yesterday we had a monster meeting on Bakery-hill, and I was the delegate of upwards of one thousand foreigners, or 'aliens,' according to the superlative wisdom ...
— The Eureka Stockade • Carboni Raffaello

... swearing, grog-drinking, tobacco-chewing, race of sea-officers, the Bens and the Mirvans of former times, Captain Jemmison, resolving, I suppose, to avoid their faults, went into the contrary extreme of refinement and effeminacy. A superlative coxcomb, and an epicure more from fashion than taste, he gloried in descanting, with technical precision, on the merits of dishes and of cooks. His table, even on shipboard, was to be equalled in elegance only ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. V - Tales of a Fashionable Life • Maria Edgeworth

... have quarreled with his owner over Jan's price. But it happened there were none. And the result was that Jan had to be put through his paces five separate times for the benefit of five separate prospective purchasers, not one of whom was really capable of appreciating his superlative quality, before the five hundred dollars demanded did eventually find its way into Jean's pouch and he was called upon to part with his leader. He intended to give Snip the leadership of his team now, because Snip was a curiously remorseless creature; and to buy a husky as cheaply as might be to ...
— Jan - A Dog and a Romance • A. J. Dawson

... Museum at Madrid and gaze upon his canvases, sumptuous and opulent, diffusing colour like a sunset, indifferent to their story or meaning, happy and content with the flaming feast outspread for our enjoyment. We stand before his Entombment at the Louvre, dumb before its superlative painting, with hardly a thought for the tragedy that it represents. Titian accepts the literary motive, and the artist in him straight forgets it. We walk from The Entombment to the little chamber where Rembrandt's Christ at Emmaus ...
— Rembrandt • Mortimer Menpes

... critical private transactions of Condorcet's life were pale and insignificant. In the tranquil seasons of history, when the steady currents of circumstance bear men along noiseless, the importance of the relations which we contract seems superlative; in times of storm and social wreck these petty fortunes and private chances are engulfed and lost to sight. The ferment was now rapidly rising to its intensest height, and Condorcet was the last man in France to remain cold to the burning agitations of the time. We have already seen ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 2 of 3) - Essay 3: Condorcet • John Morley

... thousands of deer each year and sold the skins in the local markets or to the fur-traders from Virginia whose heavy pack-trains with their tinkling bells constantly traversed the course of the Great Trading Path. The superlative skill of one of these hunters, both as woodsman and marksman, was proverbial along the border. The name of Daniel Boone became synonymous with expert huntsmanship and almost uncanny wisdom in forest lore. ...
— The Conquest of the Old Southwest • Archibald Henderson

... in everything else, sir, there is to be found the superlative, the quintessence,—the ideal. Consequently I have roamed East and West, and North and South, ...
— The Money Moon - A Romance • Jeffery Farnol

... being irreligious, as many think, it is the neglect of science that is irreligious—it is the refusal to study the surrounding creation that is irreligious. Take a humble simile. Suppose a writer were daily saluted with praises couched in superlative language. Suppose the wisdom, the grandeur, the beauty of his works, were the constant topics of the eulogies addressed to him. Suppose those who unceasingly uttered these eulogies on his works were content with looking at the outsides of them; and had ...
— Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects - Everyman's Library • Herbert Spencer

... higher education of women—and we may be content to accept the adjective without qualification, since it is after all only a comparative, and leaves us free to employ the superlative—may be and often is of very real value in certain cases and because of certain local conditions, such as the great numerical inequality of the sexes in nearly all civilized countries. It is valuable ...
— Woman and Womanhood - A Search for Principles • C. W. Saleeby

... coquette, that most fascinating woman the world has ever known. Three weeks of steeping one's soul in the oldest, most complete and satisfactory ruins on the face of the earth. Here, in delving into the past, we would have no use for the comparative word "hundreds." We could boldly use the superlative word "thousands." What memories! what dreams! what fragments of half-forgotten history and romance came floating through the brain! I have, generally, little use for guide-books except, afterwards, to verify what I have ...
— As Seen By Me • Lilian Bell

... heard this she said, "Verily Al-Kuthayyir[FN193] was conspicuous for sweet speech and chaste, and he was superlative in his praise of Azzah when he sang" (and she began ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... if that poem did not make me, both lately, and when I read it in MS. No alderman ever longed after a haunch of buck venison more than I for a spiritual taste of that "White Doe" you promise. I am sure it is superlative, or will be when dressed, i. e., printed. All things read raw to me in MS.; to compare magna parvis, I cannot endure my own writings in that state. The only one which I think would not very much win upon me in print is "Peter Bell;" but I am not ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... undoubted superiority that it had of Serenus in the purest antiquity, yet being added in the transcendent degree to the word Emperour, the highest denomination that a Prince is capable of, it becomes of the same value. So that to interpret Illustrissimus unto diminution is to find a positive in a superlative, and in the most orient light to seek for darkness. And I would, seeing the near Boyars and Counsellors of his Tzarskoy Majesty are pleased to mention the Title given to his Tzarskoy Majesty by his Cesarian Majesty, ...
— Andrew Marvell • Augustine Birrell

... command of his ship, but with a crew of two men, neither of whom could even steer, nor were they accustomed to go aloft; while he had fifteen prisoners below, who would naturally lose no opportunity of retaking the ship. His greatest difficulties were only now beginning. What consciousness of his superlative seaman-like qualities, what perfect and just self-reliance he must have possessed, to have undertaken the task of navigating a ship completely across the Atlantic with such means at his disposal! Considerate and generous, as well as brave, as soon ...
— Our Sailors - Gallant Deeds of the British Navy during Victoria's Reign • W.H.G. Kingston

... ears and sense of the dear one to whom they are sent, is very sweet;—but for the girl who has made a shirt for the man that she loves, there has come a moment in the last stitch of it, sweeter than any that stars, haycocks, poetry, or superlative epithets have produced. Nora Rowley had never as yet been thus useful on behalf of Hugh Stanbury. Had she done so, she might perhaps have been happier even than she was during this journey;—but, without the shirt, it was one of the happiest moments of ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... Mr. Pantin's manner was urbane but, observing him closely, Mrs. Toomey noted that his eyes suddenly presented the curious illusion of two slate-gray pools covered with skim ice. It was not an encouraging sign and her heart sank in spite of the superlative suavity of the tone ...
— The Fighting Shepherdess • Caroline Lockhart

... blackguarding," the article continued, "as a fishwoman of Billingsgate. It is as natural to him as snarling to a tom-cat, or growling to a bull-dog.... He is the common mark of scorn and contempt of every well-informed American. The superlative dolt!" In this refined and chastened style did the defenders of American cultivation preserve its reputation ...
— James Fenimore Cooper - American Men of Letters • Thomas R. Lounsbury

... wide, candid hazel—the green iris thickly flecked with brown. A little shorter than Clive, a trifle more slender. But that which held the detective's eyes was something less tangible but at once more evident than superlative masculine good looks. It was a sort of shy joyousness and buoyance, which flushed the tan of his cheeks, sang in his voice, made ...
— Murder at Bridge • Anne Austin

... gentleman of portly proportions, who, at some other period, may have walked. Despite his dimensions, he was agile and graceful in his sweeping salaams; when he spoke he emphasized every word with an appropriate sweep of the arm, and his eyebrows arched and his eyes bulged in superlative, ecstatic moments. The tassel of his tarboosh, a little red inverted flowerpot capping the summit, gyrated violently in moments of excitement. Altogether he was a mighty person. Perceiving this, the five great ones from the far south paid court to him, addressed him ...
— The Tale of a Trooper • Clutha N. Mackenzie

... to which she had given the name "Snarleychology."[2] Her knowledge of the old man's ways was of longer date than mine, and she understood him infinitely better than I. "Suppose, now," I said "that Snarley had been able to express himself after the manner of superlative people like you and me, what would have come of it?" "Art," said Mrs. Abel, "and most probably poetry. He's just a mass of intuitions!" "What a pity they are inarticulate!" I answered, repeating the appropriate commonplace. "But they are not inarticulate," ...
— Mad Shepherds - and Other Human Studies • L. P. Jacks

... chief orator make a most graceful and easy and beautiful and delicious speech—I never heard one that enchanted me more—although I did not understand a word of it, since it was in Hungarian. But the art of it! —it was superlative. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... incredulous amazement at the sight of this love-sick man in his intense pursuit of a girl who was able to twist him around her little finger and make him follow her about as if he were a green and callow youth. Palgrave, the lady-killer; Palgrave, the egoist; Palgrave, the superlative person, who, with nonchalant impertinence, had picked and chosen. Was ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... his lullaby. He needs no sheltering; for the rain does not wet him. He need fear no cold; for the tropics wait upon his wings. He is the nearest visible representation of a spirit I know of. He flies,—the superlative of locomotion; the poet in his most audacious dreams dare confer no superior power on flesh and blood. Sound and odor are no more native to the air than is the Swallow. Look at this marvellous creature! He can reverse the order of the seasons, and almost keep the morning or the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 91, May, 1865 • Various

... religious education of German youth ever since. Though preceded by other catechisms from the pen of this and that colleague or disciple, it speedily displaced them all, not simply because of its authorship, but because of its superlative merit, and has alone maintained itself in general use. The versatility of the Reformer in adapting himself with such success to the needs of the young and immature is no less than extraordinary. Such a little ...
— Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church • Friedrich Bente

... matters, we may as well confess that les Americaines do gown themselves with superlative taste. Our peeresses and visitors from the States know what to wear and how to wear it; they show so much tact in their choice of colors, they put on their gay gowns and hats with such a completeness of touch, and display so much instinct for style in the choice and use of ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905 • Various

... frequently follows only certain morbid impressions, with connoisseurs who make him restless, with auctioneers who receive every new work with praise and estimates of value such as would fitly honor the most superlative production. ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... I see," exclaimed Dick; "here's a bonnet, frightful—that's positive; another more frightful—that's comparative; and this with the superlative yellow tuft, I should call the most frightful of ...
— The Crown of Success • Charlotte Maria Tucker

... Gothic: not Renaissance, Egyptian, nor Moorish. It gave the impression of being a mere fantastic creation of a gay and irresponsible brain. If a confectioner accustomed to work in coloured sugars were to dream of a superlative masterpiece, his exalted fancy might take some such shape ...
— The Guests Of Hercules • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... land adventures are as nothing compared to the daring of the hourly existence of the heroic souls whose lives are cast upon the banks of Newfoundland. The fishermen may seem wild and reckless, rough and illiterate; but supreme danger and superlative sacrifice breed noble qualities, and beneath the rough exterior of the fisherman you will never fail to find a MAN, and no cheap imitation of the genuine article. None but a man can face for a second time the frown of the North ...
— Newfoundland and the Jingoes - An Appeal to England's Honor • John Fretwell

... surpassingly great though it is, is not the measure of the greatness of the leader of the Exodus. It is not in the deliverance from Egypt, it is in the constructive statesmanship that laid the foundations of the Hebrew commonwealth that the superlative grandeur of that leadership looms up. As we cannot imagine the Exodus without the great leader, neither can we account for the Hebrew polity without the great statesman. Not merely intellectually great, but morally great—a statesman aglow with the unselfish ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8 • Various

... journey thither; arid gravely asserts that he has often experienced, that if diamonds be wetted with May-dew, they will grow to a great size in a course of years. This probably is an improvement upon the Arabian philosophy or the production of pearls by the oysters catching that superlative seminal influence. The following singular article of intelligence respecting India, may be copied as a specimen of the work: "In that countree growen many strong vynes: and the women drynken wyn, and men not: and the women shaven hire berdes, and ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 1 • Robert Kerr

... consciousness that he must prey or be preyed on. John Rex was no common swindler; his natural as well as his acquired abilities saved him from vulgar errors. He saw that to successfully swindle mankind, one must not aim at comparative, but superlative, ingenuity. He who is contented with being only cleverer than the majority must infallibly be outwitted at last, and to be once outwitted is—for a swindler—to be ruined. Examining, moreover, into the history of detected crime, John ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... with games were few and simple. "Entries" were not arranged beforehand; men came and went, and competed or refrained, as they pleased, though, of course, there were a few well-known greyhound-like men and athletes who competed more or less in all games of the various districts around, and whose superlative powers prevented other ambitious men from becoming too numerous. These were, we may say, the ...
— The Hot Swamp • R.M. Ballantyne

... interested by now, but had no idea in the world of the marvel he was going to see. He started more perceptibly than even Mr. Carlyon had done seven years before, when he had realized the superlative beauty ...
— Halcyone • Elinor Glyn

... how all eyes were brightened by seeing you. If you occupy a position of authority whence you can bestow a favour which he requires, you are "most gracious, powerful, and good." His titles are all in the superlative, and his addresses full of wondering interjections. His object is more to please than to speak the truth. His art is nothing but delightful trickery by means of smoothing words and complacent looks. He would make men fools by teaching them to overrate their ...
— Talkers - With Illustrations • John Bate

... from agnosticism into a complete and passionate faith in the Christian religion and in the incarnation. He said that while love was the main principle in religion as a way of life, the most important contribution to humanity made by religion was hope. Hope in the destiny of man, in the superlative value of the individual, in the Personality of ...
— The Good Housekeeping Marriage Book • Various

... above quoted was cold beside the statue of one of the fathers of his country, he atones for it by his eloquence beside the tomb of the Vendramin. I must not spoil the force of Italian superlative by translation. ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... judgments unless his feeling of justice was injured; then he was implacable. Many sayings of his were current, among them a dry answer to a senator from Texas who, having dwelt in high- flown discourse on the superlative characteristics of the State he represented, wound up all by saying, "All that Texas needs to make it a paradise is water and good society,'' to which Wade instantly replied, "That 's all they need in hell.'' The nimbleness and ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... the moment is to exact. It surely should be translated, "And he, whom the God so leads to [Greek: ate], fares a very short time without it." The best translation of [Greek: ate] is, perhaps, infatuation. Moreover, how is the above translation reconciled with the very superlative [Greek: oligoston]? ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 211, November 12, 1853 • Various

... appeared a row of teeth, for which one of the toothless grannies at Almack's would have given half her dowry, seemed to be anxious of trying the experiment of how far the heart of an Englishman was susceptible of the tender passion, especially when excited by objects of such superlative beauty. It may be supposed that neither Clapperton nor Houston had as yet taken any lessons in the art and mystery of African dancing, and as to waltzing, neither of them felt any great inclination to be encircled in the arms of a negress, who, although ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... nature behind a cloud of slang. He belittles everything he touches, he is afraid to utter a word from his inner heart, and his talk becomes a mere dropping shower of verbal counters which ring hollow. The superlative degree is abhorrent to him unless he can misuse it for comic purposes; and, like the ridiculous dummy lord in "Nicholas Nickleby," he is quite capable of calling Shakespeare a "very clayver man." I have heard of the attitude taken by two flowers of our society ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... surly, and the poor, worn-out horses were so stiff that they could barely travel any longer. The village, however, was only a few miles off, so that they were not more than an hour in reaching a miserable hovel, at the door of which was a man in the superlative degree of astonishment. He, at least, had never heard of Louvois and Louvois's orders, so that, for the promise of a gold-piece, he was easily induced to receive the desponding party. But his only bed was of straw, and he feared their excellencies would ...
— Prince Eugene and His Times • L. Muhlbach

... aspect of the Soudan is that of misery; nor is there a single feature of attraction to recompense a European for the drawbacks of pestilential climate and brutal associations. To a stranger it appears a superlative folly that the Egyptian Government should have retained a possession, the occupation of which is wholly unprofitable; the receipts being far below the expenditure, "malgre" the increased taxation. At so great a distance from the ...
— The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile • Sir Samuel White Baker

... zigzag through Belgium, following most of the time dirt roads which, though not of superlative excellence, were an improvement on stone blocks. It took us practically all day to reach Antwerp, a hundred and ...
— The Automobilist Abroad • M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield

... serve—but ideal and even ordinary romantic literature, does not, I think, substantially advance. Behold the prolific brood of the contemporary novel, magazine-tale, theatre-play, &c. The same endless thread of tangled and superlative love-story, inherited, apparently from the Amadises and Palmerins of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries over there in Europe. The costumes and associations brought down to date, the seasoning hotter and more varied, the dragons and ogres left out—but the thing, ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... high: in the first or ground floor, are the shops; in the second, the merchants have their warehouses; and in the third, they usually live with their families. Those three different regions, sorry am I to say it, are all very dirty; indeed they may be said to be the positive, comparative, and superlative degrees of uncleanness. There are no glazed sashes in the windows, so that when it rains, and the shutters are closed, you are involved in utter darkness. The furniture is miserably scanty—some old fashioned, high backed, hardwood ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... superlative excellence, and it is upon this that he relies. It is upon this that he has emerged and attacked the heart of man. It is upon this that he may possibly fight his way down to posterity and live like a fire forever ...
— Emerson and Other Essays • John Jay Chapman

... that still forbids it me The reverence for the keys superlative Thou hadst in keeping in the ...
— Divine Comedy, Longfellow's Translation, Hell • Dante Alighieri

... held in order to allow of elbow room for a mass movement over a broad front. The German realized this and after he had lost Mametz and Bernafay he held all the more desperately to Trones, which, for the time being, was the superlative horror in woods fighting, though we were yet to know that it could be surpassed by Delville and ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... departed and a sort of limp, anaemic look about it. And when the wearer has lain upon the veldt at full length for long hours together in rain and sun and dust-storm his kit assumes an inexpressible dowdiness, and preserves only its one superlative merit of so far resembling mother earth that even the keen eyes behind the Mauser barrels fail to spot Mr. Atkins as he lies prone behind his ...
— With Methuen's Column on an Ambulance Train • Ernest N. Bennett

... Miss Millicent at having found and attached to her service a young woman of such superlative domestic genius and taste, who seemed to be so thoroughly contented with her situation, was especially enhanced by the fact, that her own marriage was approaching, an occasion which any bride of good sense would ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 21, July, 1859 • Various

... of those superlative sunsets that burn themselves into the consciousness with a joy akin to pain, and of which only a few are allotted to each human life. I stood watching the sinking sun throw a crimson net over the snow mountains as the shadow ...
— Mountain Meditations - and some subjects of the day and the war • L. Lind-af-Hageby

... that. There was an instantaneous correspondence between the part and the player. The embodiment was as natural as a sunbeam. Shakespeare has left no doubt about his meaning in Perdita. The speeches of all around her continually depict her fresh and piquant loveliness, her innate superiority, her superlative charm; while her behaviour and language as constantly show forth her nobility of soul. One of the subtlest side lights thrown upon the character is in the description of the manner in which Perdita heard ...
— Shadows of the Stage • William Winter

... The superlative requires that the Christian shall have a body. Without a body the Christian is neither a complete human being nor a ...
— Christ, Christianity and the Bible • I. M. Haldeman

... The superlative excellence of Dutch painting in the seventeenth century has never been explained, and probably never will be. The ordinary story is that on settling down to a period of independence and comparative peace and prosperity after the cessation ...
— A Wanderer in Holland • E. V. Lucas

... to even bring it before the notice of the public. The error of most original people is in being just a trifle too original. It was in his business qualities—and these, after all, are the most essential to success, that Mr. Darwin showed himself so superlative. These are not only the most essential to success, but it is only by blaspheming the world in a way which no good citizen of the world will do, that we can deny them to be the ones which should most command our admiration. We are in the world; surely so long as ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... could shed over the soul was still ours. It was not classed as a "necessary," and the retailers being free to charge freely for it could sell it at a price too "long" for the purses of the many. Dry bread is an unpalatable thing, and the new "Law's" loaf was superlative in that respect. The grocer was beginning to discriminate, so far as he dared, between his friends (his customers) and the casual purchaser, whose affected cordiality did not deceive the shrewd old wretch. Butter had ceased to be practical ...
— The Siege of Kimberley • T. Phelan

... while it bids God speed to him who robs his neighbor of himself? Slavery is the highest possible violation of the eighth commandment. To take from a man his earnings, is theft. But to take the earner, is compound, superlative, perpetual theft. It is to be a thief by profession. It is a trade, a life of robbery, that vaults through all the gradations of the climax at a leap—the dread, terrific, giant robbery, that towers among other robberies, ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... a scamp in the superlative degree, the burly ruffian who seated himself by his side looked the character much better. He was not a man to beat about the bush. As he expressed it, he wanted to come to business ...
— Joe's Luck - Always Wide Awake • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... my accomplishments, you will find them out by inquiring at the Press Club, which is composed of as nice gentlemen as any lady of taste could wish; and I swear, sir, they have so much learning that they have killed several magazines of great respectability." Mr. Tickler said this with an air of superlative dignity; and having a beard and mustache of exquisite growth, he drew a delicate comb from his pocket, and commenced curling them with great care. In truth, Mr. Orlando Tickler was something of an exquisite, and as much ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... Spanish countries the mental activity of the people is principally manifested in an exuberant imagination which finds expression in superlative and poetical language. If there were any corresponding creative genius and executive ability in material affairs such a fertile and well-watered land as Puerto Rico would be the home of one of the richest communities on the globe. By her situation she is ...
— Porto Rico - Its History, Products and Possibilities... • Arthur D. Hall

... superlative praise of the good time they had had, and with renewed thanks for the privilege, began to bid Fred, the Master of Ceremonies, good-night. Soon only the costumed members, with Richard and Nathan, were left. So far from being tired out with the night's diversion, these two old gentlemen seemed ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... ill-health in his life, swore vividly for fifteen minutes without repeating himself, and among many references to the commercial's ancestry, called him the two-est-faced knave that had ever set foot on the Shetland Islands. Such a superlative was felt by all to be a masterpiece of language, and turned the ...
— Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland • Daniel Turner Holmes

... conceived, it is a sort of logical violation and unnaturalness; but the extravagant pride of man has managed to entangle itself profoundly and frightfully with this very folly. The desire for "freedom of will" in the superlative, metaphysical sense, such as still holds sway, unfortunately, in the minds of the half-educated, the desire to bear the entire and ultimate responsibility for one's actions oneself, and to absolve God, the world, ancestors, chance, and society therefrom, involves nothing ...
— Beyond Good and Evil • Friedrich Nietzsche

... those of Brahms as being among the great works in its class. Some of its lovers, in fact, would risk an unqualified superlative and call it the greatest. It certainly is remarkable for its inspired themes, its bold harmonies, its free and yet organic structure and for that sublime fervor which was the basis of Franck's genius. It is, in two respects, at least, ...
— Music: An Art and a Language • Walter Raymond Spalding

... too minutely into the cause which might actuate him in this instance: suffice it to say, he immediately put the plan in execution; and in three days from the time he first saw the unfortunate Lieutenant, he had the superlative felicity of seeing him at liberty, and receiving an ample reward in the tearful eye and half articulated thanks of ...
— Charlotte Temple • Susanna Rowson

... life had never known deceit, suffered cruelly. There was an intermission to set the stage for the concert. The guests pressed around the Styvens's to express their admiration for Esperance, in the most dithyrambic, the most superlative terms. The concert began. Albert had to go upon the stage to play the Liszt duet with Esperance. He begged Francois Darbois to take his ...
— The Idol of Paris • Sarah Bernhardt

... was hated by the poor. In every case he would, if he had the power, visit every fault committed by them with the severest penalty awarded by the law. He was a stern, hard, cruel man, with no sympathy for any one, and was actuated by the most superlative contempt for the poor, from whom he drew his whole income. He was a clever, clear-headed, avaricious man; and he knew that the only means of keeping the peasantry in their present utterly helpless and dependent state, was to deny them education, and to oppose every scheme for their improvement ...
— The Macdermots of Ballycloran • Anthony Trollope

... beings, passion and devotion wrapped in forms of ethereal mould, and surrounded by an impalpable effulgence which distinguished them from all others of the sex throughout the world. Whatever was of the South was superlative. To be Southern-born was to be prima facie better than other men. So the self-love of every man was enlisted in this sentiment. To praise the South was to praise himself; to boast of its valor was to advertise his own intrepidity; ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... gave the address of one of her milliners to Lady W——, who, complaining to her of the exorbitant prices of this superlative faiseuse, and plaintively stating that she had charged her fifty guineas for a simple morning dress, Lady A—— replied, "Ah, very likely, I dare say; I don't know anything ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... is nothing, they arrest a quiet decent-minded man like myself with the same spasmodic disgust as a pun in literature—the subject is a transparent excuse; they are mere indecent and unedifying exhibitions of himself. He thinks it is something superlative to do everything in a startling way. He cannot even sign his name without being offensive. He lacks altogether the fundamental quality of a gentleman, the magnanimity to ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... everybody's heard about Hal Dunbar. Everybody's scared of him. He can ride anything that's big enough to carry him; he can fight like a wildcat with his hands; and he can shoot like"—his eye wandered toward a superlative—"like Pete Reeve, almost," he concluded with a tone ...
— Bull Hunter • Max Brand

... The love of the superlative is deeply seated in the American mind. It is based on no very careful survey of the existing world. It is a conclusion to which it is easy to jump. I remember one week, traveling through the Mississippi Valley, stopping every ...
— Humanly Speaking • Samuel McChord Crothers

... assistant, and was so near discovering herself to May Hettly, by betraying her acquaintance with the celebrated receipt for Dunlop cheese, that she compared herself to Bedreddin Hassan, whom the vizier, his father-in-law, discovered by his superlative skill in composing cream-tarts with pepper in them. But when the novelty of such avocations ceased to amuse her, she showed to her sister but too plainly, that the gaudy colouring with which she veiled her unhappiness afforded ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... tis ballanst to be superlative politicke custome in these houres to dwell in shallowe accoutrements, as a defence for the abilitie of his pursse from the infringed Oath of some impudent face, that will borrowe a gentlemans revenewes if he be vestally adornd: Ile tell you sir by ...
— A Collection Of Old English Plays, Vol. IV. • Editor: A.H. Bullen

... has, than, put 'em all together, would make a South Carolina regiment. A mighty man among politicians, he was! Now the devil has cribbed him-he'll know how good it is!" Mr. Glentworthy says this with an air of superlative satisfaction, resuming his tune. The dead man is Milman Mingle, the vote-cribber, who died of a wound he received at the hands of an antagonist, whom he was endeavoring to "block out" while going to the polls to cast his vote. "Big politician, ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... us. She was, when at a distance, a baffling mass of canvas, from which a square-sail occasionally heliographed. She got abeam of us. Before the clippers have quite gone, it is proper to give grace for the privilege of having seen one, superlative as the ship of romance, and in such a time and place. She was a cloud that, when it mounted the horizon like the others, instead of floating into the meridian, moved over the seas to us, an immutable billow of luminous mist blown forward on the wind. She ...
— London River • H. M. Tomlinson

... somewhat dull, whilst, again, his harem, from the presence of numerous adult daughters, would be increased to an extent that might have overtaxed his once more active powers. Given some such rather exceptional situation, where a happy opportunity in superlative mother love wrestled with a for once satiated paternal appetite in desire, we may here discern a possible key of the sociological problem which occupies us, and which consisted in a conjunction within one group of ...
— The Position of Woman in Primitive Society - A Study of the Matriarchy • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... another little book, "The Kingdom of Light," the author, who is a lawyer, says that Concord, Massachusetts, has influenced America to a greater degree than New York and Chicago combined. I think I'll blot out the superlative degree in my grammar, for the comparative gives me all ...
— Reveries of a Schoolmaster • Francis B. Pearson

... you that I never made such a mistake (I mean of over-seriousness to indefinite compliments), no, never in my life before—indeed my sisters have often jested with me (in matters of which they were cognizant) on my supernatural indifference to the superlative degree in general, as if it meant nothing in grammar. I usually know well that 'boots' may be called for in this world of ours, just as you called for yours; and that to bring 'Bootes,' were the vilest of mal-a-pro-pos-ities. ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... disagreeing with her. I am still of the opinion that their admirable system of government, social and political, and their encouragement and provision for universal culture of so high an order, had more to do with the formation of superlative character than the elimination ...
— Mizora: A Prophecy - A MSS. Found Among the Private Papers of the Princess Vera Zarovitch • Mary E. Bradley

... poetical and elevated the ideas are which are clustered around marriage, the more probable it is that experience will produce disappointment. If one spouse enters wedlock with the belief that the other is the most superlative man or woman living, the cases must be very few in which disappointment and disillusion will not result. Moreover, pair marriage, by its exclusiveness, risks the happiness of the parties on a very narrow and specific condition of life. The coercion of this arrangement for many persons ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... words describin' things. They's two kinds, comparative and superlative," Smith replied promptly. He added. "Adjectives kind ...
— 'Me-Smith' • Caroline Lockhart

... sapid and extremely oily as the superlative ao implies. There are no finer, fatter cheeses in the world than those made of rich sheep milk in the mountains of ...
— The Complete Book of Cheese • Robert Carlton Brown

... the noble Roman, Giovanni Colonna, begins with a promise to tell something of a storm which deserved the title of 'poetic,' and in a degree so superlative that no epithet but 'Homeric' would suffice to do it justice. This exordium is singularly characteristic of Petrarch, who never forgot that he was a literary man, and lost no opportunity of dragging the great names of antiquity ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds



Words linked to "Superlative" :   superior, point, extolment, closest, fewest, kudos, stage, degree, praise, nearest, most, worst, adjective, best, level, congratulations, least, tiptop, nighest, adverb



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